The following was previously posted on August 14, 2016
This week’s Nightmare Fuel takes us down to the bayous of Louisiana to visit a bit of voodoo royalty. I am speaking of one of the more widely known loas, or spirits of voodoo, Baron Samedi.
Dressed in a black tailcoat, top hat, dark glasses, and cotton plugging his nostrils and a face painted white like a skull, Baron Samedi is responsible for digging the graves for the dead and welcoming them to the afterlife after they are buried. He is a married man, but it doesn’t stop him from chasing mortal women, swear continuously, tell filthy jokes to fellow spirits, and behave otherwise outrageously. Rarely is this loa seen without a glass of rum in his hand or a cigar to puff on. And, although he is known for death and sickness, many people offer entreaties with the hope of their loved one being denied for death and be healed instead.
Baron Samedi’s likeness can be found in many forms, such as in “The Princess and the Frog”, “Live and Let Die”, and even in WWE wrestling programs from the 1990’s. If you do run across someone dressed as the Baron, offer him a cigar or a glass of rum. You never know if it will be the real one, and he may grant you more time on Earth for you generosity.
This week I take you on a tour of a cemetery in Baltimore, MD in search of a particular statue known as Black Aggie. It is a statue with a bit of history to it, and a legend that makes it Nightmare Fuel.
Our story begins with the death of a woman named Marian Adams. She was married to Henry Adams, the grandson of President John Quincy Adams, until her death by suicide in 1885. Distraught by the loss of his love, he traveled to Japan in June 1886 in search of comfort. Upon his return home, he sought out famed American sculptor, Augustus St. Gaudens, and commissioned a statue from him to replace his late wife’s headstone. It took four years, and when finally finished was regarded as “the most powerful and expressive pieces in the history of American art.” While the piece itself was never officially named, it is commonly referred to as the Adams Memorial, although its nickname is Grief.
Strangeness surrounded the original statue. Henry Adams never spoke publicly about it or his wife’s death, even refusing to acknowledge the artwork’s nickname. His family heritage intensified the public’s curiosity, but it took hiding the statue behind walls of trees and shrubbery to capture the people’s fascination. It became a popular site to find, even though the piece was described as unnerving to see. Perhaps it was the public’s enthusiasm for it that inspired another artist, Eduard L. A. Pausch, to produce a copy, later dubbed Black Aggie.
The statue was a near identical copy of Grief, although differing in some details. Instead of being made of pink granite, Aggie was grey. It was also missing the bench and the original stonework of the original. Also, inscribed at the base of the statue was the name Agnus, the family name of the replica’s owner at the time, General Felix Agnus.
General Agnus was a war hero during the Civil War, who retired from the military to take over his father-in-law’s position as publisher of the Baltimore American newspaper until his death in 1925. The legend of Black Aggie began with the General’s body being buried at the statue’s feet.
A statue by day, stories began to spread of the stone woman moving on its own and dead spirits gathering around her on some nights. If your eyes met hers, you risked blindness. Pregnant women who passed through Aggie’s shadow faced possible miscarriages. While it’s easy to attribute these stories to fear and superstition, it’s the ones that followed that frightened people even more.
A local college fraternity took to including Black Aggie in their initiation rites, with the pledges being made to spend the night on the statue’s lap. One anecdotal case mentions that the stone woman came to life and squeezed the life out of the young man. Another instance reported by a night watchman was of a boy found frightened to death at Aggie’s feet. Other reports are of red glowing eyes at night and people dying after disrespecting the statue.
Due to the popularity of the statue and the damage caused by the people coming to see it, the decision was made to donate it. After several years where its whereabouts were unknown, the statue is now on display in the rear courtyard of the Dolly Madison house in Washington, D.C. After its removal areas of grass that refused to grow while it lay in Black Aggie’s shadow have begun filling in once again.
Is there something to this tale, or is it just an urban legend? Who can say? Perhaps these stories are as anecdotal as they sound, but what if there may be some factual evidence to back it up? Regardless, I hope this provides some fuel for your nightmares.
In the last episode, I gave a brief overview of tulpas or thought forms. That is so I can bring you this week’s Nightmare Fuel, the tragic tale of Olivia Mabel.
Olivia Mabel was a happy wife and mother living on a ranch just north of Dallas, TX whose life was rocked by the death of her son, Aiden, who was found dead in one of their ponds. Devastated, Olivia began drawing away from everything else in her life. She spent less time with work, friends, and church, and eventually divorced her husband before secluding herself away in her home.
On February 27, 1994, police arrived at Olivia’s home responding to multiple silent calls to 911. After repeatedly knocking on the front door without a response, the officers broke the door down. Inside the house was filled with dust, stale air, and neglect. They eventually discovered Olivia’s body in her son’s immaculately kept bedroom, sitting in a rocking chair in front of a shrine dedicated to Aiden and clutching a stick figure doll. Based on the state of her body, the authorities figured that she died months prior.
The altar to Aiden was what you expect to find for a grieving parent: personal possessions of his, letters from his mother to him, hand-drawn pictures, candles, flowers, and an urn filled with ashes. Affixed to the front of the altar was Sanskrit writing that translated to “construct” or “to build.” These elements contributed to a feeling of an “angry presence” in the home.
Before long, some people began piecing together a theory on what may have happened to Olivia Mabel. They believed that the constant concentration, thoughts, and effigies focused on her son may have created a tulpa version of him. What is most disturbing about that is, if true, it is the first case where a tulpa is believed to have killed its creator. Fueling this is a note found at the scene from Olivia to her son which reads, “My Aiden, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I should have never let it get like this. I’m leaving. I will not let you keep me you ViLE, EViL CREATURE. Mommy’s coming for you, Aiden, my sweet Aiden. Mommy loves you.” What makes this note especially odd is that the letter was dated February 27, 1994, many months after her estimated death.
Did Olivia die of a broken heart, or did she create a tulpa of her son, who later killed her? If she did create a thought-form, what happened to him? If not, who placed the phone calls to 911? Is this case unique, or just a mischaracterization of a heartbreaking tragedy? We may never really know.
Imagine driving along in your car and seeing a young woman in a white dress and dancing shoes walking along the roadside. You feel sorry for her and offer a ride, which she graciously accepts. When you arrive at the address she gives, you are shocked to see it is a cemetery. You look to verify the address with your passenger, only to see her vanish in front of your eyes. Immediately, you wonder whether she was there or if you were losing your mind. A third option to offer is that the young lady in question was a ghost.
Hitchhiking ghost stories have long been a part of urban legends for decades, if not longer. The scenario described above is one version of a famous tale from Justice, IL, a village not far from Chicago. Resurrection Mary, as she is known, is described as a light blond-haired, blue-eyed woman wearing a white dress. Additional details only sometimes reported are black dress shoes, a thin shawl, and a small clutch purse. Another commonality in each story is Resurrection Cemetery, the location giving Mary part of her name. Some reports claim that a woman matching her description runs out and either attempts to jump directly in front of the vehicle or on the side runners as they drive by before disappearing. Other tales describe meeting the young lass walking along Archer Avenue, or at the O’Henry Ballroom, only to disappear once arriving at the cemetery. Dozens of men over the years have claimed sightings or interactions with the ghostly woman. In fact, Mary is considered one of the more famous hauntings in the Chicago area.
How did Mary become a ghost, you might ask? Researchers of the legend commonly agree that the young woman spent her last evening alive dancing at the O’Henry Ballroom with her boyfriend before getting into a heated argument with him. She left alone on foot along Archer Avenue when a car came out of nowhere and struck her down. Her body is discovered the next morning and buried in the Resurrection Cemetery wearing the same white dress and dance shoes from the stories. Whether this version of the story is real or simply an urban legend is impossible to say, but doesn’t the beauty of a good story lie in not knowing?
So the next time you’re driving at night and see a young woman matching Mary’s description, think twice about picking her up. Once you arrive at the cemetery, she will most likely vanish before your eyes. Then again, she may enjoy your company and take you with her.
Imagine you buy a home with the intention of renovating it and selling it for a profit, only for strange things to start happening. The idea of owning a haunted house intrigues many but is also a source of nightmares to many others. But, what if the house in question was the childhood home of one of the sickest and most handsome serial killers in American history?
The little blue house in Tacoma, WA, was purchased in September 2016 by David Truong who planned to fix and flip it. A month later, when Casey Clopton, the contractor hired to work on the house, arrived with his eleven-year-old daughter, she complained about feeling uneasy and refused to be left alone inside. The feeling was echoed the following week by a member of the demolition crew, but the work went ahead as planned.
Things began happening, and Clopton figured it as nothing more than his employees playing pranks on each other. That thought started to change one day when they arrived and found all of the doors and drawers inside wide open, even though the outer doors were locked up tight and the alarm system was still armed. Another time, while cleaning a flood in the basement, the words “Help Me” appeared in the window even though there was a screen between the glass and the outside access. “Leave” also appeared in drywall dust with no visible footprints anywhere near. Electronics became unplugged and quickly died. Then, a dresser inset in the hallway wall pulled itself free and toppled forward. According to Clopton, two people were needed to move the dresser, and they were all on a different floor at the time. Other reports ranged from jiggling doorknobs to phantom footsteps and knocks.
It was when Clopton talked to neighbors that he discovered the home’s infamous history. The house he was renovating was the childhood home of serial killer Ted Bundy. Bundy, who confessed to at least thirty murders, moved into the home with his family in 1955 when he was nine years old. While that seems rather innocuous, keep in mind that he is suspected to have started his murder spree while living in that home, although nothing has definitively linked or cleared him of the crime.
Clopton called in two pastors who read scriptures and performed blessings in every room. The clergymen encouraged the workers to listen to Christian music while they worked and to write Bible verses on the walls. They did all of that and managed to finish the house four months later than planned. The home sold shortly afterward. It is unknown whether the new owners are aware of their new purchases’ history or if the protections done are still protecting them. It almost makes me want to check the history of my home. Almost.
For the season finale of HorrorAddicts.net, let’s take an overseas journey to the Aokigahara Forest, in the shadow of Mt. Fuji in Japan.
The forest is about a two-hour journey from Tokyo, but that hasn’t stopped people from visiting for the beautiful sights, the macabre discoveries, and others for ending their lives. It is estimated that 500 hundred individuals have entered the forest since 1950 and never left alive, with a record-setting 105 deaths reported there in 2003. Approximately seventy sets of human remains are discovered in the forest every year, some so old they are only moss-covered bones when they are brought out.
Then there is the paranormal aspect of the forest. Due to a number of suicide victims not yet discovered, many spiritualists believe that the souls of the dead have permeated into the trees themselves, adding to the difficulty of escaping the forest once inside. Once discovered, the bodies of the departed are brought to the ranger’s station, where they await removal from the park. Each time one unlucky ranger must spend the night in the same room as the body(s), since leaving them alone overnight is to deal with a moving corpse and a screaming yurei, or ghost of the departed.
Some additional facts about the Suicide Forest are:
Many refer to its lush green beauty as the “perfect place to die”.
The density of the Sea of Trees makes it easy to get lost without running across another living human being.
Compasses malfunction due to the magnetic iron ore in the area.
It is the second most sought-after place to end one’s life, behind the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA, USA.
For those who are considering suicide, know that there are people who care about you, understand the pain you are going through, and want to help you through it all.
If you are a regular user of Ouija boards, then many of you have probably heard of this week’s Nightmare Fuel topic. If not, allow me to introduce you to… the ZoZo Phenomenon.
Let me start by explaining, for those just new to the horror realms what an Ouija board is. Sometimes referred to as a spirit board, an Ouija board is some form of a flat surface, most of the time wood or cardboard, with the alphabet, the numbers 0-9, and common words such as “yes”, “no”, and “goodbye”. You place your fingers lightly on a device called a planchette and wait for the spirits to begin moving it around. Once a connection with a spirit is made, you can ask it questions, which the entity answers by moving the planchette to different parts of the board. Because of the nature of people in moving the planchette, whether deliberately or subconsciously, there is a certain level of uncertainty in the effectiveness of the device. What makes the ZoZo Phenomena particularly interesting is a number of people reporting it from around the world before it became a talked about thing, since 1816 according to the earliest stories.
The beginnings of the stories share this similarity, an Ouija board session is started and an entity identifying itself as ZoZo (or sometimes ZaZa or ZoSo). From there, the stories diverge drastically. Some people have reported things like the spirit providing an answer to questions it had no reason to know and impersonating others just to frighten the users of the board. Others have reported bumps, bangs, and threatening messages. Still, others have experienced possession and death threats/predictions. For one person, in particular, ZoZo not only predicted how he was going to die but used the man’s ex to attempt to bring it into being when she stabbed him to death.
Some people say that ZoZo is simply a mischievous spirit or a collection of copycat spirits. Others claim that it is a demon bent on creating as much mayhem, death, and pain as possible. It may also be the result of mass hysteria, deep-seated human fears, or an urban legend. I myself think that ZoZo is a collection or mix and match of all of the above. One thing is for certain, the ZoZo Phenomena is one that should not be taken lightly or ignored, especially if you use an Ouija board.
For this month’s book review, I selected Resurrection America by Jeff Gunhus. Let me start by saying that the book isn’t your typical horror story fare. I assure you that there are enough elements by the end of the book for the more discerning horror tastes.
Resurrection is a small, picturesque town in Colorado attempting to rebuild itself after many years of financial hardship. The day before their annual Fall Festival, an event they hope will jumpstart their tourism industry, the sheriff is called out to the mine overlooking the town. A new company has moved into the long dormant mine with plans to reopen it and give a large donation to the town. The sheriff agrees to keep mum about the company’s presence until they are ready to speak with Resurrection’s mayor and council. The actual plans for the town and the mine are far from the happy, hopeful story given. The real hope is for the events in Resurrection, CO, to kick the United States of America out of their post-war stagnation. Needless to say, what is planned for the townspeople is truly horrifying on many levels.
As I said at the beginning, this doesn’t fall easily into the realm of horror. The story as a whole would fall under science-fiction thriller, but there are enough horror elements to whet the casual Addict’s appetite. What is most frightening about the story is the plausibility of something like this possibly happening with the technology available today. If you are a hardcore horror fan, you may not appreciate the story as much. Overall, I think Resurrection America is a fun read.
For this week’s Nightmare Fuel, we take a look at a creepy video named 11B-X-1371.
Released in 2015, the video is a truly creepy one that is chock full of secret codes and hidden imagery. The video itself is two minutes in length and shows a person dressed up in what appears to be an old style plague doctor suit. The setting is a dilapidated building in a forest, and the distorted music and sounds playing throughout the video increase the creep factor exponentially. As the video plays, the person flashes various hand gestures while lights flash and symbols appear on the screen. This alone is enough for excite those of us who enjoy creepy mysteries, but this one is a multi-layered one that really caught on with code breakers and puzzle lovers.
Framed at the top of the video is a binary code, that, when translated, reads, “Te queda 1 año menos” or “You have 1 year less”. The soundtrack doubled as a code that, after being run through a spectrogram, revealed a skull, images of someone being tortured, and “You are already dead.” Other lines of code hidden in the video stills revealed other chilling information, such as the longitude and latitude coordinates of the White House, the phrase RED LIPS LIKE TENTH (which some take as an anagram for KILL THE PRESIDENT), “The Eagle infected will spread his disease. We are the antivirus will protect the world body”, and “Strike an arrow through the heart of the eagle.” Accordingly, many have interpreted all of this, including the costume, as a possible threat of bioterrorism against the USA.
Many have come forward to claim ownership of the video, but the strongest candidate for it is a person calling himself Parker Warner Wright, a US citizen living in Poland. He claims to have created the video at the former Zofiówka Sanatorium, near Otwock, a short distance south of Warsaw. The purpose of the video wasn’t any type of threat but was intended for an art project that needed multiple people to help decode all of the secrets. To back up his claim, he released an earlier video taken outside of the same location with a slight variation on the plague costume.
Regardless of the truth behind the video, I must admit that it is definitely a creepy one that has a lot of mystery yet to be unraveled. Check out the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quyXS4a0JGQ and judge for yourself. Perhaps you can help decode the full message behind the video.
Last season I gave a little glimpse at one of the four Barons of Voodoo with Baron Samedi. For this week’s Nightmare Fuel, I thought we’d take a peek at the muscle of the Ghede family, Baron Kriminel.
According to legend, Baron Kriminel was a murderer condemned to death and is invoked to pronounce swift judgment on criminals and those who still owe his family for services rendered. Those possessed by this particular Baron shout obscenities and spit on or stab anyone within reach. If he is served food he doesn’t like, he will torture his host body by biting chunks of flesh from his or her arms. Baron Kriminel’s cruelty isn’t just limited to people. This cruel Loa may demand a black chicken be doused in gasoline and lit on fire, for no other reason than to hear the shrieks from the poor animal.
This Baron is believed to be either an aspect of Baron Samedi, although his fashion sense favors black, purple, white, and deep blood-red. Out of all the famed Voodoo Barons, this is one you never want to appear at your doorstep. The end results may just be the worst pain and torture you can imagine.
This week we take a trip to one of the most haunted locations in Ireland, Leap Castle.
Located in Coolderry, Ireland, Leap (pronounced Lep) Castle was built around 1250 A.D. by the O’Bannon clan, secondary chieftains of the territory under the ruling O’Carroll clan. It is the O’Carrolls who are closely linked to most of the castle’s brutal history. One such event occurred in the 16th Century when a fierce rivalry for control of the clan erupted. A priest named Thaddeus was conducting mass for his family in the chapel. Without warning, his brother, Tiege, burst into the room and drove a sword into his back. Thaddeus fell across the altar and died while his family watched. It is his ghost, considered to be one of the oldest reported in Leap, that continues to be a regularly reported sighting in the chapel.
Another bloody aspect of Leap Castle is tied to a small room discovered in 1922. Hidden in the corner of a secret dungeon, just behind the “Bloody Chapel”, is a hole big enough for a human body to fall into. At the bottom was a pile of skeletal remains impaled upon wooden spikes. They are believed to be a combination of prisoners and unsuspecting guests of the O’Carrolls, tossed in and left to die for entertainment. It took three carts to empty the remains found in the pit.
Yet another story of the O’Carroll clan’s brutality within the castle walls involved a dinner party thrown by members of the McMahon family. The McMahons were a family of mercenaries hired to train the O’Carrolls in improved fighting techniques. Unfortunately, instead of payment, the McMahon clan were all poisoned at a banquet held in their honor. Their ghosts are also reported to haunt the castle.
Perhaps the scariest part of Leap’s history is one with the least human connection. Reported by one of the later owners of the castle, Mildred Darby, is a primitive nature spirit called “The Elemental”. Mildred, a known dabbler in the black arts of magic, described the creature as being the size of a sheep, with an inhuman face, decomposed black cavities for eyes, and smelled of rotting corpses. Some have speculated if the malevolent spirit was drawn to the castle by the dark acts of the past or the magical practices conducted at the time.
These are but some of the stories surrounding the Leap Castle, with many others waiting to be shared. In fact, it is one of a few locations I intend to visit should I ever find myself exploring my Irish roots.
Imagine you live in a world where any crime, from murder to having a difference of political opinion, is cause enough for lifetime incarceration? The governments which come to mind probably are Nazis, communists, and, to some people, the United States’ current political climate. Dystopian stories are some of the scariest ones you can read. True, there may not be blood, gore, monsters, or jump scares like the traditional horror stories utilize, but they deal with people as the monsters. People so desperate for relief from red tape, corruption, and chaos that they are willing to give up freedom to feel safe and in control.
“The Tank” by Nicola Lombardi tackles the dystopian story very well and in a pretty believable manner. It is the future, and a military coup has placed the New Moral Order (NMO) in charge. When is person is convicted of a crime against the NMO, they are delivered to one of nine Tanks for storage. The Tanks look fundamentally like grain silos, however there are no cells inside. The “guests”, as the training manual refers to the prisoners, are tossed into the main cylinder of the building and left to suffocate and rot among the other prisoners. Those who survive the landing struggle to survive as refuse until a quarterly Cleaning, which involves acid, occurs.
Giovanni Corte is named the Keeper of Tank 9, one of the more sought after positions. For enough money to relocate to an island with no more worries, he sacrifices one year of his life to run the facility. Spending a year with little to no human interaction, save for the brief daily prisoner deliveries, plays on a person’s mind. Before long, paranoia begins to rear its ugly head, which only gets worse when he finds a diary possibly left for him by the previous Keeper. In that are mentions of spirits roaming the halls in revenge for being tossed into the Tank. Things only get worse for Giovanni as the story progresses.
I thought the story was well told and you got pulled into the story pretty well. There are a few spots where you notice that the translation from Italian didn’t work out as smoothly, but overall, I really enjoyed this book. If dystopian stories are your cup of tea, definitely check this one out.
This week I take a look at the book that takes a not so serious look at one of the few reality television shows I enjoy: Ghost Hunting shows. This one follows Simon Smoke, the host of one such show named SQUASH!. On its fifth season, the ratings aren’t doing well at all. In order to keep the show from being canceled, Simon takes his video crew to the small town of Pleasant Storm, TX on the fiftieth anniversary of a blood bath that decimated the town. Blamed on the Car Nex, or Carnivore Nextdoor, the team doesn’t hold much hope of seeing a return of the beast. By the end of the night, they will have wished they were right.
I found this story to be a fun little tale told in a less than serious manner, which I’m sure the author fully intended. As a passing the time sort of story, this one delivers pretty solidly. If you prefer your horror less tongue in cheek and more serious, then this story may not be for you. All in all, I recommend this story in the Car Nex universe to people looking for a little light horror.
We’ve all heard theories on what ghosts are. Generally speaking, they are viewed as either spirits of dead people, remnants of energy stuck in a constant loop, or demons sent to torment us. In the 1970’s, an experiment was conducted that showed another way to view ghosts, as literal creations of our minds.
In 1972, a group of scientists gathered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with the premise of creating a ghost through intense concentration. They came up with an intricate back story for the ghost, which included some details of his death, and gave him the name Philip Aylesford. For weeks, nothing happened. Eventually, they decided to try recreating the atmosphere of a classic spiritualist séance, much like the ones attended by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his wife. In these séances, the scientists surrounded themselves with items from Philip’s era, along with photographs of the kind of castle they imagined he’d live in. A few more weeks passed without any success, and then it happened. Philip communicated with the scientists.
It began simple. The scientists would ask questions about the history created for the spirit, and the ghost responded using a series of knocks and raspy whispers to confirm his identity. After that, the phenomena increased with each session in ways not easily explained by science. Philip would slide the table from side to side and was known to chase people with it from time to time. In each case, the scientists claim that no one was touching the table at the time. In the end, the group was unable to conclusively prove whether Philip was their creation, or some other entity portraying the character they expected to find.
The existence of ghosts tends to be a more personal experience and belief. They may be spirits of the deceased, creations of our own minds, or a figment of our imaginations. The only true variable is who you ask.
For this week’s Nightmare Fuel, we take a look at another popular cryptid legend. Our destination is Beltsville, MD for the legendary Goatman.
When one thinks of someone being a Goatman, they may think of a character portrayed by comedian Jim Breuer on Saturday Night Live. Another thought is of the famed satyrs from Greek and Shakespearean mythology, such as Pan. While these appearances are close to the descriptions given of the cryptid, they differ in two distinct ways. The first being that, while the creature has the body of a man and the hindquarters of a goat, it also possesses a goat’s head instead of a human one. Also, while the versions from the mythology and SNL want to make people laugh or play pranks on us mortals, the creature in Beltsville, MD has been reported as wielding an axe.
There are different versions of Goatman’s origins. Some involve brokering a deal with the Devil or the creature being born that way and living life as a hermit in the woods, attacking those who wander into his domain at night. His favorite haunts in the latter legend includes a local lover’s lane. Other, more modern legends have the creature being the result of early DNA experiments, always with the end result of the scientist mutating into the beast.
The reports of the infamous creature are not just limited to Maryland, with other sightings occurring in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Florida, Washington, and Ontario, Canada. One story from 1962 depicted the Goatman hacking fourteen people to bits because they wandered too close to his lair. According to unidentified witnesses, it emitted sounds only the “devil himself” would make. When authorities arrived on the scene, they found partially eaten limbs and a blood trail that led to a cave. No official written police reports of the incident are said to exist.
The Goatman may be just an urban legend; however, this doesn’t seem to keep people from continuously reporting sightings of the creature. It may also be people wanting to keep the story alive to frighten future generations. The only advice I can offer to you is, if you are wandering near an ominous looking cave near a rusted old bridge and hear terrible noises, make your way further from the bridge. It may allow you to live just a little longer.
This week’s Nightmare Fuel takes us down to the bayous of Louisiana to visit a bit of voodoo royalty. I am speaking of one of the more widely known loas, or spirits, of voodoo, Baron Samedi.
Dressed in a black tail coat, top hat, dark glasses, and cotton plugging his nostrils and a face painted white like a skull, Baron Samedi is responsible for digging the graves for the dead and welcoming them to the afterlife after they are buried. He is a married man, but it doesn’t stop him from chasing mortal women, swear continuously, tell filthy jokes to fellow spirits, and behave otherwise outrageously. Rarely is this loa seen without a glass of rum in his hand or a cigar to puff on. And, although he is known for death and sickness, many people offer entreaties with the hope of their loved one being denied for death and be healed instead.
Baron Samedi’s likeness can be found in many forms, such as in “The Princess and the Frog”, “Live and Let Die”, and even in WWE wrestling programs from the 1990’s. If you do run across someone dressed as the Baron, offer him a cigar or a glass of rum. You never know if it will be the real one, and he may grant you more time on Earth for you generosity.
This week we take a peek into one of the more famous legends of the Algonquin tribe, the Wendigo.
The Wendigo, or Windigo in some translations, is a tale prevalent in the Northern United States and Canada. It is viewed by some as a demonic spirit capable of either possessing a human or taking the form of one. Other legends claim that people are cursed to become the creature by the simple tasting of human flesh. The latter version of the legend depicts the creature as over fifteen feet tall and gaunt with deeply sunken glowing eyes, an overly long tongue, yellowed fangs, and yellowing skin, either in the process of decay or covered in fur. They are almost impossibly thin with an unending hunger for human flesh. There are also some who claim that the creature is so thin that you can only see it when you are looking at it directly in the face. It is believed that to become one of these creatures is so terrible, you are better off killing yourself than to resort to cannibalism, even when your survival depends on it.
These tales are commonplace in locations where a combination of food scarcity and long harshly cold winters make survival a dire challenge. There are even some reported cases where people with access to ample food supplies become so overwhelmed with desire for human flesh, they will kill their own family for it. These cases are what psychologists refer to as “Wendigo Psychosis”.
Sightings of the beast still occur to this day, mostly in the northern Minnesota plains and in Canada. Some see it as a simple superstition or warning to dissuade people from the practice of cannibalism. Others say that the creature lives on; killing any it comes across. For those of you enjoying a campout this summer, be careful when wandering in the woods, lest you become the Wendigo’s next meal.
The entity known as The Slender Man has become a major part of our mainstream consciousness, thanks in large part to the various video games, stories, and news reports involving him. This week, we look at the possibility that The Slender Man legend may be much older than originally believed.
For those who do not know, The Slender Man is a tall being with exceedingly long, branch like arms and legs. He wears an all black suit and has been sometimes described as having tentacles sprouting from his back. He has no face to speak of, although some stories say that he may be able to change his visage into whatever you fear the most. Some stories also grant him the ability to imitate voices. According to the stories, he stalks his prey by toying with their minds before revealing himself and moving in for the kill. Although his motives and specific victim preference are never clearly defined, the stories usually depict him tormenting children.
The modern legend of The Slender Man is attributed to a creation of Creepy Pasta and/or the Something Awful websites. There are other sources who trace the idea even further back, possibly as far as 16th Century Eastern Europe. Two woodcut carvings from that era were discovered in the 1800’s depicting a being known as Der Grossman, or “tall man”. The legend goes that misbehaving children would encounter Der Grossman days before they disappeared forever. Any attempts to stop him through violent means meant retribution against the tenants of the nearest town, including impalement of the townsfolk with the darkest hearts upon tree branches.
What is also interesting to notes is that the artist who created the carvings, Hans Freckenberg, was known for his accuracy in depicting human anatomy. Der Grossman did not resemble any of the characters used in his other artwork. Adding to the eeriness is that Freckenberg vanished shortly after completing the pieces.
There are other stories of people encountering the creature we’ve come to know as The Slender Man, but I’m saving some of those for another episode. Until next time, Addicts…
EBay has long been an auction mecca for everything imaginable. You can buy vehicles, whole towns, and even a ghost in a bottle. For one such item, the website became the birth of an urban legend. This episode we bring you the story of the Dybbuk Box.
In 2003, an eBay auction was posted for a Jewish wine cabinet that the owner claimed he’d bought at a yard sale a couple of years before. The original owner was a 103-year-old Polish woman who escaped the Holocaust with the box. The family was told to never open it and seemed anxious to part with the item. When the new owner, Kevin Mannis, brought it to his antique shop, he quickly found out why. Within half an hour of the cabinet arriving, Mr. Mannis received a telephone call from a terrified employee who claimed that someone was in the store’s basement destroying things and cussing up a storm. When he and the police arrived, there were no signs of an intruder and no other way out of the store. That proved to be just the first of many bad events to follow. By the time he listed the box on eBay, his store had been raided by the FBI, his identity stolen, his lease taken away, and his mother suffered a stroke when he gave the box to her as a gift.
Aside from the stories, the contents of the box in the listing are an interesting sort. Inside are two U.S. wheat pennies, two small locks of hair bound with string – one blonde and one black or brown,a small granite statue engraved and gilded with Hebrew letters that spell the word “Shalom”, a dried rosebud, one golden wine cup, anda very strange black cast iron candlestick holder with octopus legs. Alsoreported to accompany the ordinary looking cabinet is the smell of jasmine or cat urine.
The box eventually was sold to its current owner, John Haxton. He claims to have experienced some physical maladies since obtaining it, including hives, welts and coughing up blood. Presently, Mr. Haxton, with the help of a Rabbi, has sealed the ybbuk inside the box and hidden it away for study. This has only helped the story to grow like wildfire, eventually coming to the attention of director Sam Raimi, whose horror production company, Ghost House Pictures, released the film “The Possession” in 2012.
Whether the story is real or just a creepyway to sell an otherwise ordinaryitem, the dybbuk box is a sensation that ranks up with Slenderman and the Boogieman. Buyer beware!
This week’s Nightmare Fuel takes us to the Florida Keys, where we look at a haunted and cursed doll named Robert.
Robert Gene Otto, known by all as Gene, was four years old when his family’s maid presented him with a gift, a three-foot tall straw doll dressed in a sailor’s suit that bore an uncanny resemblance to him. Instantly falling in love with it, he named the doll Robert, after himself, and the two of them became thick as thieves. When the family ate dinner, Robert had a place setting like the rest of the family. When little Gene went to bed, Robert slept with him. The boy and the doll even carried on conversations with each other according to Gene’s mother. The little boy even went so far as to blame his fits of rage or any odd occurrences in the home on Robert.
When Gene married and inherited the family home, he relegated Robert to a room of his own in the house’s turret. Visitors reported hearing footsteps coming from the room along with a demonic laughter when no one was upstairs. School children walking past the house saw the doll in different windows, scowling down at them. At one point, Robert was moved to the attic but still found his way back to the little rocking chair by the window.
When Gene passed away in 1972, a new family moved into the home. Their ten-year-old daughter found Robert in the attic and laid claim to him, but that did not last long. The girl was traumatized by Robert, even going so far as to accuse him of trying to kill her.
Fast forward to 1994, and Robert is donated to the Key West Martello Museum, but his antics are far from over. Reports from staff include childlike laughter, changes in the doll’s expression, and even position in his glass home. Some people say that they hear a tapping when they walk past his case, only to find the doll’s hand pressed against the glass when they look back. One employee claimed that they cleaned Robert before leaving for the night, turning off all the lights as they walked out. The next morning, several lights were blazing bright, including the one next to Robert’s case. Stranger still was the dust on the soles of the doll’s feet, like he’d been walking around outside his glass case.
If you do go visit Robert, it is a recommended practice to introduce yourself and ask for permission before recording or taking pictures of him. It is also suggested to not disrespect the doll in any fashion, as bad things have been known to happen to those who do. The effects have ranged from camera malfunctions to actual accidents after leaving the museum. To this day, Robert still receives letters begging forgiveness of their rude behavior towards him.
I thought I’d ring in the new season’s Nightmare Fuel with a creepy bang by looking at the phenomena known as The Black Eyed Kids, or BEKs for short.
Picture if you will, it’s ten o’clock at night, and you are sitting in your living room reading a book or watching television. You wonder who is bothering you so late, and, when you look out the window, you find a couple of children standing on your porch with their heads bowed. Knowing no child their age should be out so late, you feel a strong urge to open the door to find out what is wrong. Instead, you ask them through the closed door if you can help with something and why they are out so late in the first place. They answer with, “Please let us in,” or, “Can we come in and use your phone”. You feel a strong compulsion to open the door, but there is also a weird or bad vibe from them. Instead of opening the door, you make sure the doors are locked before telling them you can’t help them. When they do finally look up, your blood chills.
What you thought were normal children are now staring at you with eyes so black you wonder if they are empty sockets. The smaller of the children asks again, “Please let us in,” and you feel a stronger urge to open the door. Instead, you shout at them to leave or you will call the police. You look away long enough to get your cellphone, and find an empty porch when you return to the window.
That is but one of the many stories that have been circling since the first reported sighting of the Black Eyed Kids in the late 1990s. The stories share many similarities with some encounters dating back to World War II. Skeptics regard these stories as merely victims of pranks, urban legend, or just campfire stories, but to the people who have reported these encounters, they all are quite real. Stories detailing what happens when the children are allowed inside are very rare. What stories I have found detail the death of the home’s occupant circumstantially linked to the BEKs. One story where the homeowner claims to have allowed these children inside, and then felt a menacing vibe from them. It was so strong, she left when the kids refused to. By the time she returned home with the police, the kids were gone. All reported run-ins with the BEKs have related tremendous feelings of terror and dread, which lead some believers to speculate that the kids are demons, alien/human hybrids, or something much more terrifying. Reports of run ins with the kids are still shared and reported to this day, and they don’t always stick to houses. Some have even shared stories taking placed in empty parking lots late at night.
So, when Halloween around on us this year, keep in mind that the child asking for candy at your doorstep may be in costume, possibly even wearing a pair of all black contact lenses. Then again, they may be the real deal.
While I generally try to not watch reality television, one type has caught my attention when they first debuted about a decade ago, the ghost hunting shows. I’ll admit that I believe ghosts are around and that I enjoy these shows partly for their findings and partly for their attempts at making compelling television. When I saw what “The House That Dripped Gore” was about, I couldn’t resist checking it out.
This story follows Stanley Matheson as he is hired to check out Hull House, a haunted home inherited by a rich benefactress. In Stanley’s research of the home he finds that it was the birthplace of a cult and that all of the problems with the home grew from there. He wastes little time in putting together a team consisting of an unbelieving skeptic and two mediums, one a buxom curator of a dark objects and other paraphanelia and the other a victim of a possession that ended with his team dead. Will this ragtag group survive their stay at Hull House, and what secrets will they discover?
I wanted to like this book, I honestly did. This story plays out in a similar fashion as the “Scary Movie”, “Tales From the Crypt”, and “A Haunted House” horror comedies, which I’m somewhat a fan of, but not a whole lot. The attempts at humor come across as a bit heavy handed and downright low brow at times. The twists and turns are what one might expect from this style of horror comedy. If you are a fan of the aforementioned movies, they you will enjoy this book.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been a big fan of two things: horror stories and professional wrestling. When I saw that we had a book with both, I knew it was one for me.
When it comes to professional wrestling, most people think of the major federations like WWE, Ring of Honor, and TNA. This story doesn’t take place in any of those, but in one of the independent federations deep in the heart of Texas. Tojo Smith is an Earth born demon whose very existence is to promote evil in any fashion possible, albeit on a small enough scale to not draw the attention of Heaven. He takes his childhood love of professional wrestling and creates a heel character, or villain, to promote the hate Hell requires. What Tojo doesn’t count on is the crowd getting behind his character and cheering him on. He does everything possible to remain the bad guy, but the crowd continues to cheer and this catches the attention of a denizen of Hell.
I really enjoyed this story and felt a lot of nostalgia for the Texas based federations I used to enjoy watching when I was a kid. I didn’t find the story all that horrifying as it played out much in a similar soap opera fashion as a pro wrestling storyline. If you are a fan of the art of wrestling, or enjoy reading about demons creating mayhem on Earth, then this story is for you. Definitely a fun read.
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This week we take a trip to the cold Ural Mountains for a real horrific mystery. A group of nine Russian skiers led by Igor Dyatlov ventured out for a ski trek across the northern Urals and were forced to make camp on the side of a mountain name Kholat Syakhl, which translates to “Dead Mountain”. On February 26th, their campsite was found in disarray, The tent the group stayed in was torn out from the inside as if those on the inside needed to get out in a hurry. Footprints, both barefoot or sock covered led away from the campsite and to the trees where the first two bodies were found near the remnants of a fire. They wore only socks and underwear, so their cause of death was deemed as hypothermia. Shortly after, three more bodies were found along the path back toward the campsite, all in the same state of undress, and all frozen to death. They may have been the lucky ones.
Two months after Soviet authorities came across the campsite, the remaining four hikers were found, and the real mystery began. Three of the bodies bore injuries one might suffer in a car crash — a fractured skull and chest injuries, but none of them showed any outward signs of injury to coincide with the injuries. In addition, one of the hikers was missing her eyes, tongue, some of her lips, a portion of her facial tissue, and a fragment of her skull.
Many theories exist to explain what happened, but no one appears to be able to cover all the details of this mystery. The reasons range from an avalanche, to secret government testing, and even UFO’s. Someday we may find out what actually happened on Death Mountain, but then the question becomes do we want to know?
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Horror Addicts Episode# 105 Intro Music by: Cancer Killing Gemini Co-Hosted by Rick Kitagawa and Eve Skylar ———————— 83 days till Halloween! masters of macabre contest stephen kozeniewski, ricky cooper, rish outfield, d.j. pitsiladis, solomon archer, creature feature, writing contest
To vote, send an email to email@example.com Subject line: MMM Tell us who you think wrote the best story and why. One lucky winner will win the HorrorAddicts.net PRIZE PACK!
———————– Write in re: ideas, questions, opinions, horror cartoons, favorite movies, etc… firstname.lastname@example.org ———————— h o s t e s s Emerian Rich s t a f f David Watson, Dan Shaurette, Marc Vale, KBatz, Mimielle, Dawn Wood Want to be a part of the HA staff? Email email@example.com